After years of searching, in 2013 Mike Dusi found a 360-acre parcel of land in the Willow Creek AVA. It was hilly, rocky, covered in dead trees, and had been ignored for many years. It was a brutal piece of land – and in his eyes, perfect. The family thought he had gone a little crazy, but that was just the beginning.
A paper street is a road or street that appears on maps but does not exist in reality. The piece of land off Kiler Canyon was quite literally on one of these. Mike Dusi saw something special, and the Paper Street Vineyard was born. For 3 years he worked with sons Matt and Michael to clear the land and plant the vineyard. They pulled the dead trees out with chains and bulldozers. At one point they lost a bulldozer off the steepest terrain, and someone lost part of a finger along the way. They cleared the soil – by hand. The entire family, 3 generations’ worth, worked up at almost 2200 feet, walking the dirt to pick up sticks and stones. As with most Dusi endeavors, it was a true family undertaking. Of the 360 acres, 110 was cultivatable. Those 110 acres are steep, rocky, and full of limestone. They include varieties such as (of course) Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Grenache Blanc, Tempranillo, Carignane, Cabernet Sauvignon, Clairette, and Petite Sirah.